Around the AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


Josh McDaniels is being lauded in Denver.

My take: That’s what happens when first-year coaches are an unexpected 6-0 at the bye. McDaniels is the story of the NFL. He deserves all the kind words he is currently receiving.

Kansas City

Derrick Johnson expressed his frustrations to coach Todd Haley about being demoted.

My take: The only thing that is going to help the linebacker is to impress his coach in practice. Haley doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who is going to relent just because a player is upset. Johnson has to do his job pitching with his production, not with his mouth.


Darrius Heyward-Bey is staying upbeat.

My take: At least somebody is upbeat about him. Heyward-Bey has been a complete non-factor in the first six games. He has two catches so far and he has dropped several passes. Heyward-Bey needs to kick it into the next gear, particularly with Michael Crabtree ready to begin his career across the bridge in San Francisco. The league was shocked that the Raiders took Heyward-Bey over Crabtree. The pressure is on the ineffective Heyward-Bey.

San Diego

The Chargers’ special teams coverage unit is not happy.

My take: It shouldn’t be. The group should be embarrassed in the aftermath of Eddie Royal’s treatment of the unit on "Monday Night Football." Royal had a kick return of 93 yards and a punt return of 71 yards go for touchdowns in the first half. It’s the sixth time since the merger in 1970 that has happened in the NFL. That was the difference in Denver’s 34-23 win. The San Diego coverage unit has to improve Sunday at Kansas City.